Things are split evenly between local and national events in Dallas this weekend. On the local front are a new exhibit about famous women, two theater events, a cultural festival, and a great local band. Among the national events rolling through town are a Broadway jukebox musical, a reality TV show judge, sexy dancers, a late night band leader, and a singing clown.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, March 1
George W. Bush Presidential Center presents "First Ladies: Style of Influence"
This special exhibit examines how the role of the first lady has evolved over time, and how first ladies have used their position to advance diplomacy and other social, cultural, and political initiatives. The impact of first ladies, including Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Dolley Madison, Michelle Obama, and Eleanor Roosevelt, will be explored, showing how they have served as hostess, teammate, champion, and policy advocate. The exhibit will be on display through October 1.
WaterTower Theatre presents Detour: A Festival of New Work
The Detour Festival is indicative of WaterTower Theatre’s renewed investment in the creation and development of new work. The festival will consist of four new play readings, three devised works, and two “late nite” performances. Prism Movement Theater, Cry Havoc Theater Company, and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance will be among the groups featured at the festival, taking place in Addison through Sunday.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan
From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. From international superstardom to life-threatening tragedy, On Your Feet!, playing through March 11 at the Music Hall at Fair Park, takes audiences behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making and groundbreaking couple.
Kitchen Dog Theater presents The Royale
A talented, charismatic African-American boxer dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But it’s 1905, so his chances are as good as knocked out before he ever steps foot into the ring. A winner of multiple theater awards, The Royale is inspired by the often overlooked story of Jack Johnson, a boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the most famous and the most notorious black man on Earth. The production will run at Trinity River Arts Center through March 18.
Friday, March 2
Southwest Celtic Music Association presents North Texas Irish Festival
St. Patrick's Day may still be two weeks away, but you can celebrate all things Irish at the annual North Texas Irish Festival. Irish music, dance, and cultural talent will be showcased on 13 stages over three days at Fair Park. The festivities will also include whiskey tastings, blacksmithing demonstrations, horse displays, Celtic storytelling, traditional food, chef demonstrations, and kids' activities and entertainment.
Blake Shelton in concert with Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce, and Trace Adkins
With The Voice starting its new season this week, country superstar Blake Shelton is back at the top of pop culture news. But since the audition episodes are pre-taped, he still has plenty of time to tour the country, making a stop in Dallas at American Airlines Center on Friday. He'll play in support of his new album, Texoma Shore, alongside opening acts Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce, and Trace Adkins.
Toadies in concert with Helmet
It's always a good day when Fort Worth originals Toadies take the stage again. This concert, at the Bomb Factory, will highlight the group's 2017 album, The Lower Side of Uptown, along with their greatest hits from their previous six albums. They'll be joined by New York City alt-metal band Helmet.
Saturday, March 3
"Magic Men Live!"
The release of Magic Mike in 2012 has led to a resurgence in interest in the, um, artistry of male dancers. "Magic Men Live!" is the first live stage production to bring the phenomenon of Magic Mike, Fifty Shades of Grey, and similar works to life with a high-energy and breathtaking experience. The performance will take place at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie.
Jon Batiste in concert
Prior to starting his stint as bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste was well known in jazz circles but not as much elsewhere. The nightly national platform has changed all that for the acclaimed musician, bandleader, and composer. He'll play at the Kessler as a solo act, minus his usual backing band, Stay Human.
Sunday, March 4
Puddles Pity Party
After wowing the judges and nation with his unexpected singing abilities on America's Got Talent, Puddles, the "Sad Clown with the Golden Voice," will perform at Majestic Theatre with his heartfelt anthems and a suitcase full of Kleenex. This Pity Party is not all sadness and longing. The show is peppered with a brilliant sense of the absurd, mixing lots of humor with the awkward, tender moments.